ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul on Wednesday said a mass awareness campaign would be launched soon to inform public of the adverse impact of tobacco smoking.
Addressing a news conference in Islamabad, she said the government had levied heavy taxes on cigarettes to discourage its use.
She said cigarettes caused lung cancer and a number of other diseases.
Zartaj Gul regretted that some females were also among the smokers which could have long term impacts on the health of their family.
In 2017, the government had imposed complete ban on the commercial use of “sheesha” to protect people’s health. Many sheesha cafes were shut down after the ban but many others still continued selling them illegally.
In July 2019, the Senate Standing Committee on National Health Services, Regulation and Coordination had suggested lifting the ban on sheesha in Pakistan.
According to sources, Senator Mian Muhammad Ateeq, the head of the committee had said, “People in developed countries are also smoking sheesha so why is Pakistan banning it.”
“When it comes to implementing rules and regulations in Pakistan, sheesha cafés are still open illegally in Karachi’s posh areas,” he had said.
Even if the government conducted a raid, they still managed to reopen the next day, therefore we had considered lifting the ban on sheesha bars, he had said. Legalizing sheesha again in Pakistan will help to get more taxes from the restaurants which sell them, the senator made the suggestion which had been criticized.